black and white

my birth story

It has been two and a half years, and I'm finally getting to write a bit about my own birth story. In a lot of ways it was my catalyst to begin and truly enjoy the art of birth photography today! To start, I was speaking with a friend about a non-profit trying to gain more volunteers when I had the craziest dizzy spell. As in, I had to sit or I would have fallen. At that moment I knew something was up, but tried to put it out of mind. An easy task believe it or not, because not less than a week later a pipe burst in our home while we were working. A pipe on the second floor, in the bathroom. Water everywhere, it was raining in our living room just barely into our 7th month of home ownership. Seriously, I could not make this up. So we ended up in a hotel for about two weeks, where I still just didn't feel right. My husband and I are very open with each other, so of course we went to the store and bought one of each type of pregnancy test. I'm not kidding. We got back to our room and I took one. I know I should have waited until the morning, but whatever. We were there and anxious!

First test was a positive.

I didn't believe. I was pregnant. This state that you go through your adolescence being told is not great. Abstain, don't have babies. Naturally, I grabbed the test box and read the statistics about a possible false positive. Apparently that wasn't a thing, so I took all the rest of the pregnancy test over the course of 2 weeks. Finally, I reconciled the fact that I was growing a tiny parasite inside me and went to see the doctor to confirm and all that jazz. By jazz, I mean light blues. By this time we had moved into long term temporary housing, and I was sicker than a dog. I had to get IV fluids twice and was pretty much non-functioning!

For the expecting mamas reading this, always keep bags without holes and paper towels in the car. Also to be safe, travel in the right lane in case you need to pull over for what ever reason!!

Other than being super sick and quite tired I plugged along until one day, at 20 weeks, I walked into to work and had a crazy stitch in my side. I tried ignoring it, do you see a pattern (haha), until I couldn't breathe without concentrating. I was scared. Called the husband and said I'm coming home, we need to go to the doctor. Mind you, I worked an hour from our temporary home. I got in my car and called my mom. I could barely talk. I was in so much pain, she was trying to give me directions to the nearest hospital when I gave up and got on route 66 to just get home. Things went down hill and I had to pull over to call an ambulance. Scariest day of my life! I was passing a kidney stone, but at the time I could have sworn my baby and I were dying! Being a first time mom, it was the only conclusion!

After that eventful first and second trimester things were pretty smooth sailing. I picked up energy, felt much better, and we finally got to move back into our house at the beginning of my third trimester. I do not recommend moving at this time of your pregnancy, unless you have movers and un-packers! My husband was a saint!!

With all of that said, I was fairly type A throughout my pregnancy. Researched everything, watched, and read even more. I practiced how I would labor, hired a doula, and made sure I was with a practice that had a midwife. I wanted a natural labor. I did not want to find out the sex. We thought it was one of the last ways in life to truly surprise ourselves. Little did we know, now having a toddler! I also wanted a birth photographer. However given our crazy life circumstances at the time could not afford one. I was super grateful that my best friend, Anna Gibson, was willing to be on call and come document my journey to motherhood.

So on we went. Approached our due date, with family in town, and passed our due date. Our child decided to wait until she was good and ready to make her appearance! After nine days of waiting through prodromal labor, Miss Bit decided it was time, but still took her time. I woke up Monday morning with strong contractions. I had to call my early to work husband back home, and started walking to keep the contractions going. I was nervous, not sure about timing, my husband wasn't home, but I knew in my heart that baby would't come until the world was right. August 19th was such an amazing day. We walked a lot! We went to a nearby park and walked even more, found a four leaf clover and was congratulated by people passing us as I grimaced through yet another contraction. By late that night I had called my doula and photographer to come, I felt I was getting close. After the party arrived at my house we made our way to the hospital. The REAL party!

I feel like life has been a blur since this part. Yes, still 2.5 years later, it is still a blur. I greatly appreciated my midwife explaining every step of the process and answering all of my questions. I received the tiniest bit of pitocin which was enough to kick my laboring body into high gear. I labored in the bath tub until I felt like pushing then I got out and started pushing. I'm sure much more happened during this time, but like I said it was a blur of anticipation, contractions, and the drive to meet this stubborn human!

Looking back through my images I still get emotional! I love that my husband was with me 100% of the time. He held my hand and supported me through the entire process! I very surprisingly didn't curse throughout the entire event. Oh and I was a blubbering mess when Miss Bit joined us earth side. My husband told me her sex and we just wept. She was finally with us, in our arms!

with grit and grace,

Nicole

Honest Connection | My 2016 Focus

Honest-Connection-Family-Nicoleinbold.jpg

Honest connection can be so hard to come by out in the real world and even at home. I feel it is easier to be honest and not connect, rather then connect and not be so honest. Who or what am I talking about? You know when you meet someone new and you do the normal small chat and connecting, are you really being honest or just keeping things light? On the flip side, when you are with your best friend or spouse, you connect over just about everything but telling the truth can be a bit harder. You know the whole, "does this outfit make my butt look big?" scenario. Even with this situation it can be easier for your best friend to tell you to change than your spouse. Right? When, in the end, we knew the answer all along. No more of this, this year. While my goals are always to try and eat better and be more active and full of grace, this years' focus on honest connection will hold me accountable to myself. 2016 is the year I want to slow down a bit, and honestly connect with my self as a person, a person with needs and wants, but also with my husband and daughter. The balance of working, being an artist, a mom, a wife, or even just myself can be cumbersome some days. I can get out of whack a lot. Work stress can trump my artist life, or my child's needs can surpass my own. It happens, and I believe a lot of it is normal and natural. My goal and wish for myself is to truly listen and be honest with what I need, my body and soul, but to also connect with those around me. Small things like drinking tea from my favorite mug rather than a to-go cup, or holding my husbands hand while we grocery shop together. Those small connections, add up to a happier presence.

This includes my clients too. I feel like I am honest with each and every one of you, but I would love to connect with you and your families more. Lets have a play date, schedule a picnic, or just check in with each other. I truly hope to facilitate this more this year, as these things do not come naturally to me as a generally introverted person. I seriously want each and every one of my clients to become part of my extended family!

Cheers to love, living with intention, and honestly connecting with yourself and those around you!

Honest Connection Family Nicoleinbold
Honest Connection Family Nicoleinbold

be inspired. live boldly.

Nicole

Family and Business Busy Season

Observations of Parenthood

It is the season of giving, thankfulness, and love. However, when you're in the thick of business and family busy season it can feel like the opposite. I noticed myself getting cranky with my husband and Miss Bit last week. Then I got upset with myself. My bank of patience was depleted, and I was just not myself. Why was I being so cranky? I started make excuses and had to stop myself. The day job is stressful during the holidays; with last minute proposals and the creative job was bleeding into family time. In short, Long days are long, yet still feel not long enough. This was my fault. Have you ever heard someone say "you have time for what you make for." This was finally sinking in. I love my creative job, but at times I get ahead of myself. However, left unchecked, laundry was undone and sleep was pushed aside, eventually turning me into one hot curmudgeon.

This past Friday, after taking part in a wonderful online summit (thank you Rising Tide Society), I decided to set things down and focus on my family. I have a couple of sessions to edit and deliver, and I still pushed the laundry aside, I can't lie, but it will be there. My daughter on the other hand, is growing like a weed and my husband was starting to feel disconnected. This is not what I want. It is not why I was working so hard. So, we went park hopping, saw the local holiday parade, and watched movies (even if it was the same one over and over again. Anyone else have a toddler like this?). Family cuddle sessions are the best!! I struggled a bit, just being honest, but worked hard at not getting on my phone or social media in anyway.

By Sunday, I realized I needed to live the life I talk about with my clients. A huge part of my mission is to capture you where you are at now. Not in a few months, after you lose 5 pounds, or when your child grows their teeth back in. The everyday life, the seemingly mundane elements, is what I want to slow down. That is when we are real and authentic.

Getting vulnerable: I’m the heaviest I have ever been right now, I’m slower and don't have the best wardrobe right now. With that said, I have grown so much in the past year as a wife, mother, and business owner. Priorities are different for each person and each family. However perception is our only reality. If it won't matter when you retire, is not part of the 1000 piece puzzle we call the big picture, do a 180. Every day is a new day. I lost sight of this and am working on some changes I hope to share soon.

Yes, I would like to focus a bit more on me within this balancing act. I will get there. Moms, dads, you reading this,  prioritize progress over perfection!

Now for some images of Miss Bit from our park hopping adventures in the 70 degree December weather. #takeachillpilldecember

be inspired. live authentically.

Nicole

Mama Hawk | Maternity | Parenthood

The more I photograph parents about to begin their parenthood journey, the more I fall in love with my job. Erin and J are seriously beautiful, inside and out. This was a styled shoot put together by Kate Juliet Photography at 48Fields earlier this month, and these two seriously rocked the lens. They are both avid runners, mama had even run 3 miles the morning of the session. So awesome! From runners grace to many giggles, Erin and J are so in love with each other and are excited to welcome their little earth-side next month.

This session was so much fun and the light was amazing!! There is nothing like working with the setting sun to achieve some amazing colors, silhouettes, and wonderful grain. I hope you enjoy and I, of course, included a couple behind the scenes images.

be inspired. love authentically. live boldly.

Nicole

Moments in Motherhood Recap1 | Meet Nicole Series

Do you ever feel lost in your own body, home, or the world? I have always been an artist. I drew everything as a child, delved into music with a passion, and found a fondness for photographic art. When I found out I was pregnant a couple of years ago, I had to slow down. I was so sick for the better half of my journey carrying my daughter. Our house flooded and we were living in a hotel for the majority of our pregnancy as well. It was a crazy time to say the least and I stopped exploring my artistic side.

As my belly grew so did my aspirations for who I wanted to be and what I wanted give to this tiny human. I was a self-affirmation junkie. I researched anything and everything regarding childbirth. I was determined to be prepared! The path to motherhood was fraught with emotions I wasn’t quite ready for, and others I relished.

Fast forward skipping a bit through things, here I am back on my artistic journey sharing my soul with my family and others. To really dive back in I met with a new friend (Emily Gerald) about a workshop that was coming to our area. I got all the information, set aside money and made some sacrifices to get there. Moments in Motherhood with Mae Burke.

Mae is the sweetest and most warm hearted person I have met in a long time! Part of this workshop was to pull together a session that encapsulated who we are as an artist and a person. I was daunted by this task, to say the least. I have a photography bucket list, knowing WHAT I wanted to capture wasn’t the problem. The problem came in figuring out my voice. The WHY. I knew what I wanted, found a couple models and set everything up. I made what I feel are beautiful images of motherhood. I was left with the feeling of, “what does it all mean?”

I took the images. I smiled as I saw my work uploading to my computer. My heart was singing that I could capture these women and really just shoot for myself. My head was still stuck in the feeling of, “so what?” I questioned myself throughout the process. Doubted my ability. I felt a draw to give up and go back to playing with my daughter as much as possible. I nearly backed out of going to Mae’s workshop. I felt a little like an imposter knowing I was going to be in the audience of people who I look up to and admire, celebrities in my mind.

I had to stop myself, change the rhetoric. I am on a path and I believe to the core of my soul that I am where I am supposed to be. I may sacrifice some time away from my daughter and husband, but I want her to know that you can pursue your dreams. That being the best mom is being the best me.

I wanted to give a shout out to Mae. She dropped a truth bomb that left me a bit shaken, but it helped me see that I needed to be more authentic and share my boldness: with myself, my family and what I share with you, my audience. I grew so much that day. Mae welcomed me with open arms, and the women in attendance were so amazing and supportive. When I left, I knew my life had changed.

THIS IS MY WHY:

I cannot be my best self if I don’t have faith in myself. I can’t be the best mom, walk the path of “right and wrong” as a mother if I don’t have faith in my instincts, my positive affirmations. This mini-series calls on all of this. Motherhood to me is the grit and the grace. It is finding the light for ourselves to share with these little people we bring into the world. I still have days that I want to sit and the dark, feel completely in adequate at everything, but I’m here, living and breathing and showing my daughter, my husband and myself that I can be me. For them.

be inspired. love authentically. live boldly.

Nicole